By Anuradha Varma
“Focus on raising your standard of giving, than raising standard of living. It’s your turn now!” says Mumbai-based Rushabh Turakhia, who is creating a revolution with his social initiative Your Turn Now.
After watching the film Pay It Forward, which he claims to have seen over 40 times, Rushabh decided to do his own bit to change the world. That’s when the founder of Your Turn Now, who comes from a business family, thought of giving out magical little blue cards. The cards are free and Rushabh has circulated nearly 2 lakh so far, shipping to diverse locations in India and nearly 32 other countries since the year 2009. Each time someone does a good deed, they give their card to the recipient of the generosity, asking them to take it forward by helping another.
The turning point happened when a friend, who suffered an accident, was taken to hospital by a stranger, who skipped office for him. “On recovery, my friend wanted to visit the woman with a box of sweets. I realised that the equation would end there. That’s where I first got the idea for the card.” The Your Turn Now card ensures a chain of goodwill that never ends and spreads universal smiles.
Rushabh spends over four hours a day on his vocation, talking to new members on his Facebook group, besides giving talks in schools and clubs. “Facebook has been a boon,” he says, as his message has gone viral. He adds, “Staying in Mumbai, I’ve witnessed a lot of unkindness. We really don’t help anyone. If someone falls, nobody picks them up. If, 20 years from now, the cards are no longer needed, I would’ve done my job.”
There are several small ways in which one can make a difference. Rushabh also shares ideas on Facebook. “I get kids telling me they don’t know how to use the card and I tell them there are so many ways to help people. For instance, do we ever really notice the courier or pizza delivery boys who come home? Offer them a glass of water.” He once wrote about making traffic policemen at Mumbai signals smile by offering them vada pao or water and, as a result, one lady went signal to signal distributing chocolates to them. “One father told me that he’s now forced to carry a carton of bottled water in his car, since his eight-year-old daughter insists on it.” His nine-year-old son Vivaan never forgets to remind him to share the card. Rushabh shares, “Recently, I helped drive a woman home since she was scared and it was midnight. When I returned, my son asked if I had given her the card. I hadn’t, since it was quite late in the night. However, he made sure I went back the next morning and delivered the YTN cards!”
He also believes in using public transport to travel and recently paid a fare of Rs. 60, meant to be shared by all three travelling in the auto-rickshaw. When the others protested, he told them to use the Rs. 20 to help another soul. “Even a small amount like that makes a huge difference,” he believes.
With a YTN card, a person doesn’t have to thank you for a favour, but pay it ahead by being kind or by being there for someone else. The card then passes on to multiply this act into a multiple of happy emotions. Rushabh’s mission is to spread his random acts of kindness to the seven billion people across the globe. His statement reads, “Your Turn Now is a reform to make the world around you kind. It not only makes people around you more thoughtful, compassionate, kind, generous etc. but also makes you more aware of the world around. In our daily life, many a times, we get a chance to be kind to a stranger, we act and we forget. But this card really reminds the receiver of the act. It then becomes a constant effort to pass on this kindness that makes a general focus on so much more love.”
He has also come out with a book called Your Turn Now, a collection of experiences, published by FunOKPlease, from which the royalty is contributed to give back to society. (You can also buy the ebook via the Rockstand app.) Random acts of kindness do go a long way!
I study in class 6. Recently my best friend’s dad passed away in an accident. I usually go to his house for tuitions almost every day. Other day, I overheard his mom’s conversation with someone else, that they will have to stop tuition as she won;t be able to afford the fees, as she was total clueless about their financial source.
I was very disappointed listening this, I went home and spoke to my parents about it and asked them for their help. My parents know them well, and I was happy that without a second thought my dad agreed to pay his balance fees for this academic year.
When I told my friend and her mom, they refused to accept it, but then I reminded my friend and her mom about YTN concept and told them, I am just passing on the card, it’s their turn now by accepting the fees and pass it on kindness to someone else someone else whenever they can. My friend’s mom had tears in her eyes, and asked me to thank my parents. She has promised to pass the YTN card soon.
(For more, visit www.yourturnnow.in. Watsapp or call +919029602897 for your little blue card.)